I posted this back on October of 2008. Today it is September of 2010. In under two years, I have actually done what I set out to do.I have an idea, and might need help with it:
Is it possible to have OS on a usb stick. When the PC boots up, it loads the OS, automatically starts Firefox in full screen mode, and plays different styles of multimedia?
THe reason I ask is I am working for a company that does digital signage for clients. They currently use a XP box with software that loads the multimedia and plays it.
Because of the problems with windoze, and licensing, and windoze, and...I could go on...
I though that with this type of application, the linux OS could do the same thing?
If you want to have a better idea of what I am talking about, next time you see a LCD or plasma, playing ads with weather and stocks, typically in a bank or airport, that is what we do. The problem is that its windoze based and I know some people have used linux to do this....
It has become a "side" project of mine here at work, and I think it would revolutionize the digital signage market...
I now have over 200 of these boxes around the world. It started out as a side project and at the time, I was the only one that knew Linux here at my company. Today, it is becoming our primary OS of choice. After the side project turned into a recognized "test project" for a small client, the digital signage system was designed to be a lower end system, that would only fit in a situation where the small client needed a single screen. As more of these client opportunities appeared, it became a replacement for clients that had no more then two screens. And we could clone the screens, or show two seperate shows on each of the two screens. Once this build stabilized, we migrated two of our big clients, one in NY and the other in Hawaii. WOW, my Linux system just spanned the US in a matter of a month, and I had over 100 production devices on my new system. Many bugs were found and fixed, and our sales team kept selling the Linux based system. Of all the late nights, and all the obsessions I was having of building it bigger was just realized yesterday when I found out how to completely replace our windows based version with the Linux based devices. I can now do up to 4 screens(seperate shows or spanned across all 4) with just a quad port video card, and up to 12 with the help of a matrox triplehead-2-go.
I probably got the biggest smile when I went to Texas and met with a big client that we were trying to sell to for the last 6 months. The President of the company, told us, and I quote, "If I had known you had a Linux-based system, I would have bought in 6 months ago!" I about fell out of my chair. He continued to say, "I can't stand Microsoft, and if we had the time and money, we would completely switch over." Ironic, isn't it! I also got news from our CFO, that because of me building the Linux system and making the system more stable and secure, I saved the company over $200K this year!! Some of the other perks have been dealing with clients' IT departments. When we go in for the initial discussion and they hear its a linux based system, the process is much easier to get approval. We no longer have to provide them assurance that our older windows-based system is secure (gag). We have also been installing in locations that have other digital signage systems and they want to migrate to us. Some of these companies have major systems installed and can't stand them (it rhymes with disco!)
And finally, I am traveling to London next month to demo my system to a large client with the potential to install in over 14,000 locations!! We are one of two companies competing for this opportunity.
So this is just a little success story that I wanted to share. It is a success story that would not have happened if Void had not decided to help out at a company I worked for back in 2000 and showed me the light!! He said words that have stuck with me during my continued IT career, "You can do this better with Linux"
So for all your help in the past, and especially with answering my posts in your forum, I personally want to thank you! Without your help, we wouldn't be where we are today!
THANK YOU VOID!!